Born: June 10, 1931, Abou Mizan, Lebanon
Fr. Anthony was born Richard Anthony Michaels on the feast day of St. Anthony the Great (January 17, 1956) to parents Anthony and Gertrude Michaels and was baptized at St. Symeon the Stylite (also St. Simon the Zealot is commemorated) Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Ironwood, Michigan. Rick was raised with his sister, Joanne, and brother, Craig. The Orthodox church in Ironwood is pan-Orthodox and, therefore, included all ethnic Orthodox communities in the city. Fr. Anthonyís father is Lebanese and his mother is Serbian. As a teen-ager, he was active in all varsity athletics at Ironwood High School, including his role as the starting quarterback of his football team.
Fr. Anthony attended the University of Michigan where he received his B.A. in Literature, Science and the Arts, having a double major in History and English literature. He graduated Magna Cum Laude. Following his university degree he attended St. Vladimirís Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY, where he graduated as a valedictorian of his class. He earned an M.Div. from that seminary. Besides English, he has a reading knowledge of biblical Greek and is currently learning Arabic, at the request of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip.
He taught modern philosophy at Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Michigan before becoming a pastoral assistant and youth director at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for two years. He and fellow seminarian, Fr. Patrick Kinder, held positions of youth coordinators at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Akron, Ohio, while they toured the country giving concerts and retreats while with the group KERYGMA. Fr. Anthony also spent two years based in Nashville, Tennessee, at St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Franklin, Tennessee, recording for KERYGMA with Fr. Patrick and Fr. Michael (Alan) Shanbour. Fr. Anthony has lectured extensively in North America, giving lectures to youth groups and as a speaker at church retreats for various jurisdictions besides his own, the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.
Fr. Anthony was ordained to the diaconate on September 18, 2004, and to the priesthood on September 19, 2004, at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in West St. Paul, Minnesota, under the pastorate of the Very Rev. John Khoury, of blessed memory, and by the laying on of hands of Bishop Antoun. He was able to serve his home parish for seven months before he was given his current assignment to lead the faithful of St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Fr. Anthony inspired and oversaw the design and construction of the new church facilities at St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne. On the sixth anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood, he had the great honor of hosting Metropolitan Philip for the consecration of the new church on September 19, 2010, at which time he was elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite by the laying on of hands of the Metropolitan. He was subsequently appointed dean of the Indiana Deanery by Metropolitan Philip.
Fr. Anthony continues his pastoral ministry in Fort Wayne, providing a consistent liturgical life for the faithful. It is his honor to serve the parish family of St. John Chrysostom Church.
Father Amin Houli was born in Damascus, Syria in 1964. He received his degree of theology at Balamand University in Tripoli, Lebanon and continued his education at the theological school in Athens, Greece. Father Houli speaks fluent Arabic, Greek, and English. He is happily married to Khouria Rena, he is blessed with two children, Theodora and Nicholas. Some of his hobbies include swimming , reading, and his ultimate passion, spreading the word of God.
Before arriving at St. James, Father Houli served as a deacon at St. Mary Livonia located in Detroit, Michigan. On February 6, 2005 he was ordained a priest by Bishop Mark of Toledo and became pastor at St. Catherine mission in Ann Arbor, Michigan. On July 17, father Amin officially became the priest of St. James.
During the 2009 Midwest Parish Life Conference, Fr. Amin was elevated to the rank of Arch Priest. May God grant him many years.
Periodically we will post an excerpt about the life of an Apostle
Commemorated on August 9
The Holy Apostle Matthias was born at Bethlehem of the Tribe of Judah. From his early childhood he studied the Law of God under the guidance of St Simeon the God-Receiver (February 3).
When the Lord Jesus Christ revealed Himself to the world, St Matthias believed in Him as the Messiah, followed constantly after Him and was numbered among the Seventy Apostles, whom the Lord “sent them two by two before His face” (Luke 10:1).
After the Ascension of the Savior, St Matthias was chosen by lot to replace Judas Iscariot as one of the Twelve Apostles (Acts 1:15-26). After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Matthias preached the Gospel at Jerusalem and in Judea together with the other Apostles (Acts 6:2, 8:14). From Jerusalem he went with the Apostles Peter and Andrew to Syrian Antioch, and was in the Cappadocian city of Tianum and Sinope. Here the Apostle Matthias was locked into prison, from which he was miraculously freed by St Andrew the First-Called.
The Apostle Matthias journeyed after this to Amasea, a city on the shore of the sea. During a three year journey of the Apostle Andrew, St Matthias was with him at Edessa and Sebaste. According to Church Tradition, he was preaching at Pontine Ethiopia (presently Western Georgia) and Macedonia. He was frequently subjected to deadly peril, but the Lord preserved him to preach the Gospel.
Once, pagans forced the saint to drink a poison potion. He drank it, and not only did he himself remain unharmed, but he also healed other prisoners who had been blinded by the potion. When St Matthias left the prison, the pagans searched for him in vain, for he had become invisible to them. Another time, when the pagans had become enraged intending to kill the Apostle, the earth opened up and engulfed them.
The Apostle Matthias returned to Judea and did not cease to enlighten his countrymen with the light of Christ’s teachings. He worked great miracles in the Name of the Lord Jesus and he converted a great many to faith in Christ.
The Jewish High Priest Ananias hated Christ and earlier had commanded the Apostle James, Brother of the Lord, to be flung down from the heights of the Temple, and now he ordered that the Apostle Matthias be arrested and brought for judgment before the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem.
The impious Ananias uttered a speech in which he blasphemously slandered the Lord. Using the prophecies of the Old Testament, the Apostle Matthias demonstrated that Jesus Christ is the True God, the promised Messiah, the Son of God, Consubstantial and Coeternal with God the Father. After these words the Apostle Matthias was sentenced to death by the Sanhedrin and stoned.
When St Matthias was already dead, the Jews, to hide their malefaction, cut off his head as an enemy of Caesar. (According to several historians, the Apostle Matthias was crucified, and indicate that he instead died at Colchis.) The Apostle Matthias received the martyr’s crown of glory in the year 63.
Info copied from OCA